The Leprosy Mission Canada June 2010 fronTline This statue at the Philadelphia Leprosy Hospital in Salur, India illustrates that the Leprosy Mission is continuing the work begun by Jesus himself. He was willing to do what no one else would dare – to reach out and touch those who had been rejected by society because of their leprosy. Dear Friend, The Leprosy Mission Canada began with prayer. Reconstructive Surgery is a key component to the Leprosy Mission’s commitment to A small group of Christians in Guelph, ON gathered in 1892 to hear from caring for the whole person. The following Wellesley Bailey, a man committed to ministering to people with leprosy around three surgeries are most commonly required: the world. Hearing of this great need, the group pledged their support and committed to praying from Bailey’s work. ﬁngers, allowing the hand to open As our work has grown over the years, prayer has remained at the very centre and close again. of our mission. In everything the Leprosy Mission does around the world, we remain rooted in our dependence on God and his faithful servants. blink, preventing serious vision loss. The life of Christ inspired our logo. When men with leprosy came to him, he stretched out his hand and blessed them. Christ’s servant attitude and heart for the empowering people to walk again. poor and sick inspires us to continue our work. For without a doubt, those with leprosy have counted among the most neglected throughout history. over please… COURAGE · HOPE · HEALING The Gospel of Matthew captures the heart of Jesus towards people avoid any serious nerve damage and deformities. the outcast beautifully – “A man with leprosy came and knelt The Leprosy Mission is active around the world, equipping before him and said, ‘Lord, if you are willing, you can make medical staff to diagnose and treat leprosy quickly and me clean.’ Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. empowering individuals with leprosy to prevent further injury. ‘I am willing,’ he said. ‘Be clean!’ (Matthew 8:2,3) Unfortunately, there are many who are not treated While I wish that the prejudice and stigma of leprosy in time. were no longer a reality – that is simply not the case. Ganesh Ram Yadav was accustomed to a life of hardship. When a young girl or boy is told they have leprosy, they Growing up in Vambhor village, India, Ganesh lost his cannot help but visualize the disﬁgured beggar forced father at a young age, leaving his mother alone to provide to the edges of humanity. for her eight children. In his teenage years, Ganesh began We continue to work hard to change that image. working as a labourer in order to help support his family. And thanks to you, the Leprosy Mission is active in That was when his hands began to feel numb. communities affected by leprosy world-wide, successfully teaching children and their parents the reality of leprosy It quickly became difﬁcult for Ganesh to pick up and move and dispelling myths which lead to social isolation. the heavy bricks he was responsible for. His hands and legs trembled uncontrollably and were too weak to allow him to continue. Desperate for help, Ganesh turned to the local hospital where he was diagnosed with leprosy. “They helped me through the most Unfortunately, the treatment Ganesh received was not difficult times and really changed the enough to combat his leprosy effectively. A severe reaction to the medication left him bedridden for months as the course of my life” – Ganesh leprosy continued to deteriorate his body. Eventually the reaction was treated and Ganesh began to heal. Education, however, is often not enough. As leprosy But the damage was already done. takes hold of someone’s body, it attacks the nerves. As the nerves die, the patient loses the ability to sense touch, often Because Ganesh’s leprosy was not diagnosed and treated in leading to serious injury. Not only do these disabilities enough time, his nerves began to die, deforming his body make it difﬁcult to perform daily tasks, but physical as they did. His hands began to claw, his ﬁngers curling deformities are often the primary cause of rejection and in and locking in position. His legs continued to weaken, stigma from one’s community. eliminating all hope of going back to work. At this point, surgery was the only option. In many cases, if leprosy is diagnosed early enough and proper self-care techniques are learned and maintained, Surgery is a major component of the Leprosy Mission’s As the leprosy killed the nerves in his hands and feet, Ganesh was unable to continue working. Without a job, he faced a life of extreme poverty with little hope for the future. The Leprosy Mission hospital in Champa not only provided the cure for Ganesh’s leprosy, but the surgeries necessary to empower him to work again. www.leprosy.ca work. Most of our hospitals are equipped for reconstructive is not enough. Just as Jesus was willing to reach out and surgery, and TLM has several surgeons on staff. Ganesh touch the man with leprosy, to see the person behind the travelled to the Champa Hospital where TLM Doctor disease, so are we committed to restoring the humanity of Archana Kumar performed reconstructive surgery on his those who suffer with leprosy. hands, eyes and legs. Reconstructive surgery does more than restore someone’s Although he will never have complete use of his hands and body – it restores their conﬁdence. Having endured legs again, Ganesh has hope. The surgeries he underwent rejection and fear from their family and community, have enabled him to take up farming and once again individuals with leprosy are often afraid to return home. provide for his family. The reversal of physical deformities Undergoing surgery builds conﬁdence, reversing the has begun the process of breaking through the stigma and debilitating effects of leprosy and allowing people to see reintegrating Ganesh into his family. beyond the disease. Ganesh puts it best – “When I look back on my experiences, Counting the Cost I realize I owe a lot to the Leprosy Mission. They helped me For the thousands of leprosy patients who do not receive through the most difﬁcult times and really changed the course medical treatment in the early stages of the disease, of my life.” reconstructive surgery is a critical aspect of recovery. Qualiﬁed to Care Unfortunately, there are many obstacles to overcome on the path to surgery. Reconstructive surgery for leprosy patients requires doctors with unique specialization. Patients are not simply Individuals with leprosy are extremely vulnerable, both to operated on, but cared for in every step of the process. Prior injury and rejection from the community. Although TLM to surgery, patients have the operation explained to them provides reconstructive surgery at no cost, there are many carefully, building conﬁdence and hope. Surgeons closely people who are unaware of this incredible opportunity. monitor the patient throughout their time at the hospital, Trapped in a cycle of poverty, shame, self doubt and a sense ensuring comfort and total care. The actual surgical of isolation, many lose all hope of receiving any help. Not procedure will vary with the needs of the patient – whether realizing there is another option, many sink deeper into reconstruction of the hand to reverse clawing, repairing of disability and poverty. the eyelids to restore a blinking reﬂex or any other speciﬁc Savitribai was already in her late twenties when she began need. Comprehensive physiotherapy is offered after the to notice white patches appearing on her body. She had surgery, working with the individual as they learn to just given birth to her third child. Neither Savitribai nor control their healing limbs. her husband has ever been to school and are unable to read. This holistic approach to surgery is a signiﬁcant part of Without education, they had limited opportunities. the Leprosy Mission’s commitment to caring for the whole Already living in extreme poverty with three small children, person. We believe strongly that offering medicine alone Savitribai (shown with her husband and daughter) would never have been able to afford surgery without the support of TLM donors. learning she had leprosy was devastating news for A gift of $180 will provide someone with Clawed Hand Savitribai. Although her family supported her, she faced Surgery, restoring their ability to work. rejection and stigma from her community. As the patches A gift of $100 funds Eye Surgery, an important step towards continued to spread, Savitribai was unable to work. What restoring social relationships. little medical treatment she was able to afford did nothing to slow the disease. A gift of $125 provides everything necessary for Drop Foot Surgery, a life-changing opportunity for someone Thankfully, the support of donors like you made all suffering with leprosy. the difference for Savitribai. For your convenience, I have included three certiﬁcates After years of suffering with disabilities caused by leprosy, that focus on the three most commonly required surgeries. Savitribai was taken to the Bethesda Leprosy Hospital You have the opportunity to make these surgeries in Champa. Multi-Drug Therapy cured her leprosy and accessible to those who need them most. Simply select reconstructive surgery allowed her the use of her legs again, which surgeries you would like to provide and return the walking without a splint for the ﬁrst time in many years. certiﬁcates to us, along with your payment. Whether you want to offer surgery to one patient or many is up to you. I want you to know that your gift today will be a miracle Your support today will truly bring to those who have given up hope of a normal life, who have lost their sense of worth. transformation. I opened this letter discussing the importance of prayer to The Leprosy Mission Canada. With that in mind, I Not only was Savitribai cured of leprosy, but she was given also ask that you would continue to remember us in your hope for a future beyond poverty. The Leprosy Mission prayers. Jesus is our model as we minister to those in need provided her with a small business loan which she has used and without him, we can do nothing. to begin a proﬁtable goat farm. In addition, she was able to build a new home for her family through TLM’s Low-Cost Thank you for your dedicated support. Housing program. Sincerely, She could never have achieved this on her own. There are thousands of people around the world who, like Ganesh and Savitribai, struggle against the daily challenges of poverty. When a debilitating disease like Peter Derrick leprosy is introduced, the future is bleak. Without access Executive Director to the necessary medicine and surgeries, these people have PS – Please choose your surgical grant right now little hope of survival. and send it to us as soon as possible. There is a patient If these stories inspire you, let me invite you to provide waiting for surgery. this life-changing opportunity to others. Your support today will truly bring transformation and a better future for men, women and children with leprosy. Frontline is only sent to those who are keenly interested in the work of The Leprosy Mission Canada. In each 100 Mural Street, Suite 100, Richmond Hill, Ontario L4B 1J3 Frontline there is an opportunity to do more for men, women and children who have leprosy. In this issue Telephone: (905) 886 - 2885 · Toll Free: 1- 888 -537-7679 we focus on the importance of reconstructive surgery. Please read this issue of Frontline carefully Fax: (905) 886 -2887 · firstname.lastname@example.org · www.leprosy.ca to ﬁnd out how the Leprosy Mission is changing the lives of hundreds of people. Because you care, these people will be able to beat leprosy. If you have friends or family that would like to receive Frontline, please let us know. Ministering in the name of Jesus Christ to the physical, mental We will include them in our next mailing. You can also check our web site at leprosy.ca for more information. and spiritual needs of leprosy sufferers around the world. Change a Life with Reconstructive Surgery! 1. Choose the surgeries that you wish to provide and detach the appropriate certiﬁcates 2. Total up the cost for the number of surgeries you wish to provide and enter the amount, along with your payment information, on the included form 3. Place the certiﬁcates and payment information into the included envelope and send it back to The Leprosy Mission Canada Thank you for partnering with us in providing new opportunities for those who suffer with leprosy! Restoring Dignity with Clawed Hand Surgery $180 I would like to provide Clawed Hand Surgery As leprosy attacks the nerves in the hand, ﬁngers “claw” inward as the Ulnar nerve becomes traumatized, locking into place. Surgery reverses this effect, allowing the hands to open and close again. Being able to work is crucial in combating extreme poverty, and the ability to use one’s hands in work is essential. Please provide (# of) surgeries <<DonorID>> Empowerment through Eye Surgery $100 I would like to provide Eye Surgery The blinking reﬂex is essential to maintaining healthy vision. Leprosy kills the nerves which control the eyelids, leaving the eyes exposed to constant sunlight and without moisture. This leads to vision loss and deformities which lead to social rejection. Eye surgery not only prevents further damage, but allows individuals to return to their community with dignity. Please provide (# of) surgeries <<DonorID>> Giving Freedom through Drop Foot Surgery $125 I would like to provide Drop Foot Surgery As the nerves in a person’s feet are deadened by leprosy, the feet “drop,” hanging limp and unable to support weight. Reconstructive surgery restores strength to the feet, allowing the person to walk again. For individuals who have been forced off their feet for years by leprosy, this surgery offers the freedom of movement. Please provide (# of) surgeries <<DonorID>> Yes! I will provide a surgical grant to change the life of a person with leprosy! JUNE FRONTLINE I would like to fund: Single gift Clawed Hand Surgery (# of surgeries) x $180 = $ ❑ Cheque (please make payable to The Leprosy Mission Canada) Eye Surgery (# of surgeries) x $100 = $ ❑ Credit Card (please ﬁll out below) Drop Foot Surgery (# of surgeries) x $125 = $ ❑ ❑ ® ❑ $ Grand Total <<DonorID>> Card #: <Title> <First Name> <Last Name> or <C/O> Expiry: Tel: ( ) <Org_Name> Signature: <Address Line 1> dd/mm/yy <Address Line 2> <City> <Province> <Postal Code> <Country> <<CnApls_1_01_Package>> Will your employer match this gift? Find out now at www.leprosy.ca Thank you for your gift. The Leprosy Mission Canada charitable registration number is 11924 1990 RR0001. 1003FRLN It’s our pleasure to send you If the area of need you have designated your gift to becomes fully funded, your gift will be used where it is needed most. 110030 a receipt for tax purposes.